Tag Archives: simple

Image via Pinterest

You won’t believe what I’ve been using as an all natural deodorant!

It’s not any particular product you can buy because, despite how much I like natural deodorant in the winter, they are not effective enough to use in the hot California summer.

I’ve been using lemons! I know the photo is of limes, but that’s because my BFF (AKA best friend FOH-EVA) recommended that I try limes. The thing is, I only had lemons on hand so I used those instead and they work just as well.

How Does This All Work?

Easy!

You simply cut a small slice of lemon or lime, whichever you have on hand, and rub it lightly in your under arm area. Let it dry for a few seconds and then go on your way!

That’s LITERALLY it and it TOTALLY WORKS!

I didn’t believe it either when she told me, but suspend your judgment until you try it for yourself.

It’s super cheap, eco and really surprisingly effective! 

The natural benefits of this are that the citrus absorbs all of the bacteria in your under arm area ( which is what makes you smell bad, by the way ) so you don’t have a particular scent, but you definitely don’t smell AT ALL.

I wore this for literally 10 hours and did not smell in the least. Then I went to the gym after work for an hour and did intense circuit training and, despite being drenched in sweat, I STILL did not smell!

This definitely works and some other benefits you will see over time are lighter under arms  because the citrus will lighten the discoloration conventional deodorants have caused you over time, clear pores and smoother skin in this area, and a cleaner shave because of your smoother under arm skin!

The price of this deodorant method is less than $1 so definitely try this out – You can afford it!

Definitely let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this insanely effective and surprisingly simple “DIY” deodorant method or try it and let me know how it goes!

What Do You Think of DIY Deodorants? 

♥ Tianna

Advertisements

Natural DIY Hair Mask Recipe_StorybookApothecary.com

I have been having the worst hair issues that I’ve had in years.

With the change of the season, I feel like they’ve only gotten worse.

Even with some of the lovely hair products I’ve tried, I only find temporary relief and once I run out of the products, my hair goes back to the same miserable condition.

Breakage, split ends, unmanageable hair, tangled hair, dryness, dullness, frizziness, a ridiculous amount of fall out,  lack of body and volume, and just a general crappy crap mess when it comes to my hair.

Originally, I tried this mask because I was looking for a natural way to brighten up my hair for Spring without actually coloring it given that I have given my hair a fair amount of abuse in the past few years where hair dye is concerned and also that I was too afraid to really experiment without risking more damage and drama in the hair department so going the natural route has always been the safest bet for me.

I discovered this incredible recipe on YouTube via Andrea’s Choice – see her video here – but I actually altered it slightly to fit what I had on hand and I think I’ve gotten better results because of it!

Here’s What You Need: 

  • Equal Parts Organic Coconut Oil & Honey/ Manuka Honey – I used Manuka honey, but any honey will work. I say equal parts because I used about 2 tablespoons of each, but if you have shorter hair you could use 1:1 tablespoons or if you have longer or thicker hair than me, you might need about 3-4 tablespoons of each so just use your judgment. 
  • A small bowl
  • A spoon
  • A spare Grocery Bag to put on your head.
  • A Towel for keeping the mixture off your clothes.
  • Gloves (Optional)

Application:

STEP 1:  Mix Equal Parts Honey & Coconut Oil with a spoon in a bowl until thoroughly blended.

STEP 2: Wrap A Towl around your shoulders and secure with a hair band to prevent any of the mixture from transferring to your clothes.

STEP 3: Apply the mixture with or without gloves, as desired. Where you apply the mixture depends on what effects you want out of this treatment. If you want natural highlights, focus on the top layer of hair and the crown of your head in order to emulate the way the sun naturally hits and highlights hair. If you want an all over treatment, apply the mixture from roots to ends, mainly massaging into the scalp and saturating the ends.

STEP 4: After applying the mixture to your hair, wrap your hair in the grocery bag and leave in, as desired, for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Your hair will get really stiff and feel pretty unpleasant, but that’s normal.

STEP 5: Rinse hair in the shower, first with water only and then shampoo and condition as usual.

The Result? 

My hair has literally never felt better!

It’s super soft, manageable, bouncy, voluminous, shiny, frizz free, and it has some nice, natural looking red highlights in it! I’ve done this treatment 2 different times and had equally awesome results both times. I will continue doing this treatment every week or so for a bit as I’d really like to see how light I can get my hair to go. Also, I find that this treatment has done wonders for the condition of my hair. The difference is night and day and one thing I notice that I really love is that before, when I would wash my hair normally, I generally found that my hair was seriously imbalanced. It would get oily and flat in about a day’s time, but still feel really knotted, dry, and generally look unattractive. Now, after this treatment, I notice my hair looks amazing even though I’m going on 3 days without shampooing or anything and, for me, that is AWESOME! Lastly, another thing I noticed is that I’m experiencing bouncy waves and curls that I really haven’t had since I was 8 or something so that is AMAZING!

I hope you all can try this treatment if you want natural, damage free highlights for Spring & Summer or, especially, if you have any of the hair worries that I’ve been experiencing because I definitely think you will notice a huge difference!

What’s Your Favorite DIY Hair or Beauty Treatment?

I’d love to know in the comments!

♥ Tianna 

4LovelyFragrancesforSpring_StorybookApothecary.com

The Spring and Summer are all about being light and airy, fresh and renewed, and I think your fragrances during this time should really reflect that notion, don’t you?

I have tried out tons and tons of perfume samples and purchased many of my own as well and I thought I’d share some of my favorite fragrances for the season with you all!

Parfums de Nicolaï – L’Eau à la Folie Eau de Toilette – This is, hands down, my favorite fragrance for Spring! It’s a mixture of lime and vanilla-esque coconut. You can smells the citrus notes a lot on top, but when it’s dried down after a few hours, you’ll notice the sweeter scents so it’s always changing, but also really light and fresh which I love! I don’t normally care for citrus scents in my perfume as I prefer more deep, amber types, but this one is really pleasant and comes from a really unique brand that I can only find on Beauty Habit. I’ve actually purchased the small bottle of this because I love it so much!

Alice & Peter – Cheery Cherry Eau de Parfum – This is one that I’ve received as a sample with a Beauty Habit order and was surprised that I actually liked it! I thought it would be all fruity and that’s not something I’m particularly keen on, but this one is really nice and not too overpowering. It has floral and fruity notes all through the top, heart and base, but surprisingly isn’t sickeningly sweet and it might be because they balance it out with vanilla and caramel. I’m not sure what it is, really, that makes this so nice, but I love it and the packaging is adorable and cute!

i Profumi di Firenze – Plenilunio (Full Moon) – This is my favorite perfume EVER. It smells incredible. I think it would be a lovely fragrance for Spring and Summer evenings because, though it is light, it’s a bit more on the bolder side of things. The notes are all over the place, but they go together surprisingly well. They include mandarin and strawberries with amber, white musk and soft woods so it’s a nice, seamless blend of that deeper earthy scent with a bit of light sweetness that is amazing to me. I will definitely be purchasing this soon from Beauty Habit ( they have the exclusive on this one ), but it’s quite unique in that it’s handmade in small batches from Italy and you know what that means, right? Yep, it’s expensive !

Honore des Pres – Love Coconut Eau de Parfum – This is another nice scent for Spring and Summer, but especially nice for beachy summer days! It’s very much tropical in character because they’ve included coconut milk, tonka bean, vanilla bourbon, and organic coconut essence, but all of the sweetness is nicely balanced with a bit of white cedar and, oddly enough, coriander. It’s really light and lovely, but has that bit of tropical island coconut scent we all seem to associate with Bahamas and the beach.

What Scents Do You Love for Spring?

♥ Tianna

Related Articles:

Lust List: Spring Edition

10 Styles I’m Ready to Rock for Spring!

Activaroma Pure Argan Oil

I was recently sent a small sample of this Pure Argan Oil from Activaroma by The Beauty Box and have really loved using it.

If you’re unfamiliar with argan oil, it’s an oil that comes from the nuts of the argan trees found in Morocco. What marks argan oil as unique from some other various plant oils is the fact that argan has an especially high content of vitamin E and essential fatty acids which are critical for restoring dryness and damage in skin.

Activaroma says that this oil will diminish fine lines and wrinkles, heal spots and blemishes, stretch marks and scars, and restore strength to brittle hair and nails.

I’ve been using this in various ways for about a month and I really do like this oil. The sample I received was pretty small so I haven’t experimented with it on my body or hair as there was not really enough oil to go around, but on my face and nails, this was lovely.

It is very hydrating to the skin while also feeling light and definitely helps combat dryness and dull skin. I really felt like it made my skin look more dewy, glowy and just overall more healthy in condition. I have combination acne prone skin, but this didn’t irritate or break me out – actually I’m convinced it’s helped my breakouts heal more quickly. It smooths the skin’s texture and seems to make scars lessen, though I’m not sure if it would make them diminish completely as I’ve run out of oil. As for my nails, this oil is fantastic for dry cuticles and nails and really does seem to strengthen them.

The full size bottle of this oil comes in a 2 ounce glass bottle which looks pretty luxurious – much like a classy bottle of perfume. I would really enjoy putting it on display as the packaging is really lovely. My only complaints about this oil are that the oil isn’t organic and there’s no note on the sustainability of how it was sourced or grown which I personally like to know about. Also, it’s pretty steep at $55 for 2 ounces of argan oil, but the quality and effectiveness is certainly there so if the price and origin of the product don’t bother you, I say go for it because it’s absolutely a quality product.

Check it out on The Beauty Box – here.

Have You Tried Any Argan Oil Products Before?

Which is Your Favorite?

I’d love to know in the comments!

♥ Tianna

I’ve recently discovered this new and super easy treatment for my eye area – vitamin E capsules!

I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually really effective on things like broken capillaries, dryness, fine lines, and even a bit of brightening to the entire eye area, but that may be due to the fact that it’s more hydrated.

I love to use these vitamin E capsules rather than straight vitamin E oil because they’re just the perfect size to pop open with the end of your tweezers  and squeeze out the tiniest amounts straight out of the capsule wherever you might need the extra nourishment. It does feel a bit oily and thick, but you only need a small amount and I use them right before bed so it doesn’t much bother me.

When I wake up in the morning, my capillaries have shrunk in size, the whole area of my eyes looks brighter, more hydrated, youthful and smooth!

I’ve been storing the capsules in an old Steamcream tin, but you can keep them in the bottle, however you like – I just put them in this tin because I thought it saved on space this way instead of trying to find a spot for the huge pill bottle they were initially in.

So, what do you guys think of using vitamin E for beauty?

Are there any DIY type beauty things you do that is re-purposed from something else like this?

I’d love to know in the comments!

♥ Tianna

May Lindstrom – The Good Stuff Radiance Oil 

I recently review May Lindstrom’s The Good Stuff Radiance Oil and really have loved it so much I’m likely to purchase it once I run out of it because it’s so lovely. Aside from it’s naturally nourishing ingredients, it includes golden mica in the formula which lends a golden glow to my skin whenever I apply it. I really love the mini faux glow it gives my skin because I don’t have to sit 5 hours waiting for it to develop like I would with a self tanner. Granted, I don’t get a deep tan with this, but it’s a nice and simple way to get glowing Summer type skin without putting too much effort in and the ingredients in this all over Liquid Sunshine Oil looks great on my face and body.

I really enjoy wearing it when I don’t feel like wearing any makeup, but still want to look somewhat put together because it gives my skin a golden glow and dewy healthy look that allows my skin to shine through and look beautiful while doing it.  You still need a sunscreen when you go out as this doesn’t include SPF other than what’s naturally in plant oils ( no higher than SPF 5, if that ) , but it looks great by itself on makeup free days or beach days for that added golden glow on any skin tone or type.

You can see my original review on The Good Stuff Radiance Oil – here.

You can purchase it from May Lindstrom – here.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Get Glowing Skin?

Let Me know in the Comments!

Related Articles:

DIY Brightening Face & Body Sugar Scrub

Berries for Glowing Skin

Tips for Glowing Skin & A Healthy Body

Get A Safe Tan with Tan Organic!

Top Foods for Hair, Skin & Nails

I know, I know, Christmas is literally only 6 days away, but I know quite a few people who are still getting in some last minute shopping so I thought I’d post this one just for fun because whether it’s for Christmas or some other event, these items would make really great gifts!

Also, I know none of these have anything to do with beauty, but since I did a post on that previously, I thought I’d do one that has nothing to do with beauty as not everyone on your list will be as beauty enthused as me!

Fab.com | Traveler Leather Journal Saddle

Leather Bound Journal – from Fab.Com via PInterest

This would make a great gift for someone who loves to write or sketch and they’ve got tons of different options online and in stores for stationary, journals, etc. that are really nice and affordable. Leather bound ones are my favorite though!

Pinned Image

Alice Time Piece Watch Necklace from FredFlare.Com via Pinterest

I LOVE Alice in Wonderland. As you may know, I’m a bit obsessed with fairy tales in general and so it’s no wonder I love Alice in Wonderland really, but anyway. Isn’t this watch necklace lovely?! I love things that are vintage or have that vintage style and this one has beautiful filigree type design and looks just like the White Rabbit pocket watch!

Pinned Image

Death Star Planetarium from FredFlare.Com via Pinterest

I may or may not be living out a childhood fantasy of owning one of these, but I just think the stars and constellations are really fascinating. Also, this is a great gift for a child or an adult in my opinion and very affordable. Bonus points if you give this to a Star Wars fan!

Pinned Image

Plush Organs from UncommonGoods.Com via PInterest

I actually purchased one of these for my boyfriend last year and they’re really cute! They are a bit pricey as far as plushes go, but I’d say they’re worth it for the sheer novelty of it. I got him a pancreas because he’s a Type 1 Diabetic. Too soon? We have kind of a morbid sense of humor I guess LOL.

DIY Gift Idea – Cupcake In a Jar from LilLuna.Com

I love how cute this idea is! Doesn’t the presentation itself look adorable? I think it’s a great way to give a gift without breaking the bank and who doesn’t love a cupcake? Seriously… they’re awesome.

Pinned Image

Noodle Cup + Chopsticks from UncommonGoods.Com via Pinterest

My boyfriend and I love ramen. Actually, we love any Asian food, but we especially enjoy noodles and things that you’d eat in a bowl with chopsticks. Growing up in a community where Asians were the majority, tons of my friends are Asian and there were loads of restaurants selling all different types of Asian food from Pho to Udon to Rice Noodle and eating noodles reminds me of being a kid. This set is super cute and practical for anyone who is into noodles like me!

Pinned Image

What Would Audrey Do? Book from ModCloth.Com via Pinterest

I just recently discovered the amazing principles of life that Audrey Hepburn was all about and I’m enthralled because she had such a great way of viewing life and being a woman. This is one that made my own Christmas list and I think any woman would enjoy a good book of confidence, grace, beauty and rolling with the punches that come in life with all the poise of a real lady.

Pinned Image

Fortune Cookie Baby Booties from UncommonGoods.Com via Pinterest

Okay so don’t freak out. I don’t have baby fever or anything, but my sister is around 5 months pregnant and I’m so excited to be an auntie that I’ve taken to Oohing and Ahhing over baby booties and all that jazz and then I found these while browsing and AREN’T THEY ADORABLE?! You know they are. I mean, I’d rock these if they had ’em in my size. Just saying.

Pinned Image

Waldo – We Got Him Shirt from Threadless via ThisisWhyImBroke.Com via Pinterest

I wanted to get this for my brother last year as it’s very much his style of humor, but they actually ran out of them. I just find this funny twist on one of my most memorable childhood characters really hilarious. Threadless has other amazing shirts as well that range from humorous to pop culture references, etc. They also have frequent sales so they’re definitely worth a look!

Cookies in a Chinese Take Out Box from http://www.iheartnaptime.net

Back onto Asian food, it would make sense that I’d have a weird affinity towards takeout boxes, but that’s neither here nor there. I think I might just be into boxes because I’m a bit OCD, but anyway. I think cookies make a fantastic gift and super easy to do in one go for everyone on your list if you’re strapped for cash or want to keep it simple this year. You can find these little takeout boxes in so many different colors and recycled versions, etc. so it’s very customizable.

Pinned Image

Grow Your Own Coffee Kit from ThinkGeek.Com via Pinterest

I love coffee and tea. I wish we had a more devoted tea time here in the USA, but alas, no one cares what I think! At least I can dedicated some weekend time to boba and tea and noodles. This is a great gift for anyone who loves coffee and wants to cultivate their own coffee plant. They’ll save money in the long run and likely enjoy a better tasting brew!

lace boxers for ladies! love

FOXERS Lace Boxer Short from Foxers.Com via Pinterest

This might be one of those items that is best left for people to purchase for themselves, but I suppose boyfriends could pick some up for their girlfriends or whichever? Whatever. The point is that these are SO cute and everyone should own some because they combine both sex appeal and comfort and I fully endorse that.

Pinned Image

Coffee Concentrate from Kickstand Global via Pinterest

I actually bought some of these as gifts already! I know quite a few coffee addicts and these will make lovely gifts for anyone on your list who enjoys their caffeine. What I really like about this concentrate is that you can make hot or ice coffee in a few minutes without too much effort. The only thing is that these are a bit on the pricey side at $27 each and you must purchase at least 2 on their site for some reason, but I think it’s well worth it just for the convenience!

Pinned Image

Grow Your Own Micro Greens Kit from UncommonGoods.Com via Pinterest

I discovered what micro greens are just the other day and now I’m fascinated to grow my own. This is a great kit to do just that or even grow your own herbs/ spices!

Homemade Thin Mints from http://yumsugar.com

For us Americans, girl scout cookies are something of a favorite. It’s very hard to say no to those cute little girls outside the grocery store selling their cookies, am I right? My favorite has always been the thin mint cookies – they are amazzzzing! I love this homemade recipe for them from Yum Sugar as it’s both money saving and great for gift giving!

Pinned Image

Molecular Mixology Kit from UncommonGoods.Com via Pinterest

For those who are into their cocktails, this is a great gift idea to take their hobby to the next level in mixology! This kit really takes it to the next level where drinks are concerned and allows for complex and specialty drinks and flavors to come to life in a whole new way.

Thanks a Latte Gift Card Idea from http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/

I really love the play on words with this cute gift card idea! It’s a simple, cute and fun gift idea to give to those you really don’t know too well or who have everything.

Pinned Image

MukLuks Miranda Boots from Fab.Com via Pinterest

I’ve been wanting these damn boots for ages and they never have them in store – I don’t know if they’re online only or exclusive or whichever, but they are difficult to find and very cute for the holidays! I love that they are somewhere between a slipper and boot because that’s perfect for keeping me warm on short runs to the video store or grocery or something without sacrificing comfort or coziness!

DIY Homemade Vanilla Hot Chocolate from http://www.yumsugar.com

I’ve heard from some that this isn’t a good gift to give, but I think that’s bullocks ( I was just watching Gordon Ramsay on YouTube, can you tell?). I really wish someone would gift me some hot chocolate mix like this because 1. it looks really cute  and 2. it’s delicious when it’s freezing out like it is now so there it’s on my list!

Have You Finished Your Holiday Shopping?

What did you get everyone?

Do you ever get tired of using a million and one products to treat every single skin issue on the planet? Hyper-pigmentation, scarring, dullness, hydration, acne, redness, the list goes on. What if I told you you could get away with using only ONE moisturizer year round with a few tiny adjustments and it could treat a variety of your skin concerns at any given moment and for a lot less money?

Today’s post is going to show those of you who wish to keep their skincare routine to a minimum how to do just that using 1 moisturizer and a few additives to keep on hand to transform your basic moisturizer into anything you want.

The concept for this is super easy, really. Choose a basic moisturizer that you like, that doesn’t irritate your skin, and keep it super simple. As a basic moisturizer, I’ve been using the Philosophy Keep the Peace Moisturizer as it’s quite basic and includes some nice extracts for keeping the skin calm. Once you’ve chosen your basic moisturizer, you’ll want to pick up a few additives, depending on your skin issues and/or concerns. I’ve listed a few above to give you an idea of the kind of additives you may want to include, but depending on what your concern is, you may need to adjust.

Before I get into anything, please remember to take extreme care when using essential oils in this way. Using them undiluted on the skin can do a lot of damage so know your limits. I am not a doctor, dermatologist, etc. nor am I qualified to give medical advice. I am only sharing what has worked for me and my skin so, if you’re unsure, please consult your primary care physician and/or dermatologist before trying any of these methods as outlined below.

First off, the most basic of the basics is tea tree essential oil. It’s so versatile and it can do a number of things, especially for those who battle breakouts. The first thing you can do is use it as a spot treatment by tapping a very tiny amount directly onto any pimples, blackheads, etc. Another way to use it is if you have a ton of breakouts and you want like an “acne all-over treatment” type moisturizer, mix 1-2 drops of it in with a small amount of your basic moisturizer and apply it liberally on your face, neck, etc. Wherever you’re broken out. It will feel tingly and cooling for a bit, but once it’s dry, it goes away. If not, rinse immediately. Also, this all- over type treatment also works well as a balancer for the skin. It will semi-mattify, but not dry out your skin. If it dries your skin out, you’re using too much essential oil & need to tone down on the amount you’re using.

Another good essential oil for balancing out the skin is also carrot seed essential oil and it’s great for both dry skin and oily skin types because it simply helps balance the skin as opposed to some others like tea tree which might be a little too oil-absorbing instead of balancing for those who have dry skin and acne. I don’t advise this for those who have sensitive skin because using essential oils like this can feel a little intense at first and it may cause you irritation. For everyone else, this may really do your skin some good. If you want to use another essential oil other than tea tree for breakouts, some good ones include rosemary, sage, or frankincense.

Next, if you have pigmentation, scarring or dullness issues, you can use the same 1-2 drops mixed into a small amount of your basic moisturizer to treat those concerns. You can use a number of essential oils such as sandalwood, orange or lemon. Any citrus fruit essential oil variety can be great for brightness. Sandalwood is especially beneficial for those who suffer from acne or who have suffered from it in the past and now deal with scarring because it treats both. Citrus essential oils will brighten skin in the same way that slathering lemon juice all over your skin would help brighten it over time.

Thirdly, if you are battling redness, rosacea, or any kind of irritation or inflammation in the skin, a lot of times, it’s best to simply leave your skin alone. You may have cause some irritation already and you want to let your skin calm down before putting more crap on it. If you absolutely must, you can apply hydrosols and that will be a good alternative. If you have no irritation, but you suffer from a lot of redness anyway, some good essential oils that help calm the skin include chamomile, calendula, lavender, and clary sage. Clary sage can also be beneficial for those who suffer from acne AND have sensitive skin.

Lastly, if you need hydration, mixing a bit of your chosen carrier oil is all your need to get that extra bit. This is especially beneficial in the fall / winter time when skin needs more nourishment due to cold weather, but it’s also good if you have a drier skin type or live in a cold climate. You don’t need to exercise too much caution with carrier oils as they are simply plant oils and not concentrated like essential oils are, but all the same, take care to choose one that’s right for your skin & the season. If you have oily skin, some light oils include grapeseed and sweet almond oil. If you have combination skin, evening primrose and grapeseed are both great. If you have dry skin, olive oil, apricot kernel, avocado and argan are all great choices. If you have normal skin, any will work, but jojoba is solid for those with neutral skin types. Remember, if you’re allergic to nuts, stay away from sweet almond and other nut oils – instead, opt for evening primrose, grapeseed or olive oil. If you have sensitive skin, grapeseed, evening primrose and rosehip all work nicely.

Personally, I use a variety of essential oils in a basic moisturizer if I’ve run out of my favorite products or I need a quick treatment and I have some days to spare before I can re-order products I like. For breakouts and oiliness, I use a bit of moisturizer with tea tree oil or I use a Q tip to spot treat blemishes. It does tingle a bit, but I’m used to it. If I need to calm my skin down, I use the moisturizer by itself with nothing else. If I need more moisture, I add a tiny bit of evening primrose oil to my moisturizer for a bit of more nourishing hydration. For scarring and dullness issues, I occasionally use lemon or grapefruit essential oil, but I mostly just have a strict 2 times exfoliation per week. Sometimes I’m lazy and I’ll just do a face mask or use my clarisonic in place of exfoliating, but it has the same effects. Otherwise, if I’m dealing with a particularly horrible skin issue (breakouts or something), I might do an intense exfoliation, but only once that week. 

Just as a side note- if you have sensitive skin, you can do the added moisture step in this post, but don’t use any essential oils as many people who have sensitive skin won’t be able to handle it & it may cause irritation. If you want to try something similar, you can use hydrosols as they are less concentrated than essential oils and less likely to irritate the skin, but still offer skin benefits. You can also infuse carrier oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil or evening primrose oil with dried plants for a few weeks or months and this will help you gain the benefits from them with little to no irritation.

IMPORTANT! If you do any of these methods, you MUST wear sunscreen as essential oils make skin sun sensitive. You don’t want to be treating pigmentation at night with EOs and then causing more during the day so DEFINITELY pack on that sunscreen!

So, I hope you found this helpful – feel free to ask me any questions you may have & I will do my best to help!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I hope everyone’s week is off to a nice start and all that jazz. It’s slightly warmer today than it has been, much to everyone’s dismay here in Cali, but it’s a great start to the week for me other than that! I managed to get a lot done over the weekend in terms of gifts for the holidays, blogging, holiday shopping and even got back into doing Insanity and eating very healthily this week! Just yesterday, I made my lunches for the week, did a 4 mile walk with my boyfriend and did an Insanity workout so I’m feeling quite accomplished! Back on the subject of gifts, I managed to start a few of the DIY gifts I’ll be giving away this year that actually require a bit of time to make and it got me thinking that it’s a great way to give presents without breaking the bank and it’s super personal so here’s a few of my favorites that I thought I’d share with you all that are really easy. Some are ones I’ve done this past weekend (or started, rather) and others are ones I may try, have tried or want to try in the future.

Homemade DIY Lemoncello

I used this recipe from Dine & Dish to make this, but there are tons of variations online when you type into google; I just picked one I liked that wasn’t too elaborate. You will see that recipes vary the amount of sugar, water, lemons and vodka used. My advice is if you want a more sour flavor, use less sugar, and if you want it to be sweeter, use more sugar (obviously, but just in case! Sometimes I’m slow to the show with these sort of things ahaha ). Anyway, I’ve posted the basic breakdown below of what I used and my method, but you can refer back to the Dine & Dish recipe, if you prefer something more structured.

  • 6 lemons – the recipe says to use only the rind / zest (outer layers ) of the lemons, but I used the entire thing. I just cut them up into small pieces and separated the zest and center so the flavors would be released. No word on how good or bad it will taste haha.
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka – I used some random brand from Finland that I got at Target. It cost me $11.99. I will be separating the liquor into smaller bottles (similar to the one I made the vanilla extract in! ) to give as gifts over the holidays.
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

The basic breakdown of this recipe is to let the lemon rind/peel infuse in the vodka for around 1 week, though some recipes call for more time than that. Then, you dissolve the sugar in the water on the stove to make your own simple syrup, which is basically homemade sweetener. You add it, as desired, to the liquor, depending on how sweet you want it to be. I love this idea for a gift because 1. I’m Italian and this recipe is too! 😉 and 2. it’s simple, easy, and liquor is always appreciated as a gift, in my opinion. Plus, I’ll be sorting them into smaller, more decorative bottles so its really cute as a gift, but I spent very little on it – Thank God! LOL. I’m on a strict budget this year.

Homemade DIY Vanilla Extract

I got my recipe for this from TidyMom, but there are literally tons out there because the recipe is so simple and easy, though the kind of vanilla beans you use will determine the ultimate flavor you get in your end result. Check out TidyMom’s recipe for a breakdown of the different types of beans and their ultimate flavoring. I’ve used Mexican vanilla beans, but you can use any kind you like for a variety of flavors. All you do is put 3-6 vanilla beans (sliced open lengthwise) into a bottle of your choice and fill up with vodka. Let it sit for 6 weeks or more and then it’s done! You can leave the beans in for more steeping or you can take them out. Leaving them in will further develop the flavor, but it doesn’t matter really. I just wanted to make this one; I haven’t really decided if I want to give it as a gift or not yet. What do you guys think?

Homemade DIY Bath Soak

This was soo easy! I didn’t use any recipe for this as I already know how to make this one without it, but there are tons out there to choose from. For mine, I used a large jar from Michaels (cost – about $5.99) to store it in.

For the soak, I used 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup rose powder, 12 cup milk powder, 1/2 cup kaolin clay (but you can used any clay for detoxing purposes!), and 1/4 cup ground up oatmeal. Then, to fill up the entire jar, I doubled this recipe.

Pinned Image

DIY Ornament From craftgawker.com via Pinterest

DIY Ornament

There are tons and tons of ideas out there for making or decorating your own ornaments for the holidays to put on your own tree or give as gifts, but this one is my favorite! I really love how green, whimsical, and earthy it looks. They also have some which involve painting that look fun and some others that look like they’d make great crafts for kids to do.

Pinned Image

Hot Chocolate and Liquor DIY Gift From heygorg.com via Pinterest

DIY Hot Chocolate Gift + Mini Alcohol

I haven’t decided yet whether I want to include this hot chocolate idea in with the lemoncello that I’ll be giving away or not, but it does look really cute together, no? This idea incorporates tiny store bought liquor (Kahlua, to be exact) which would be cool to use as well as making your own variation. Please don’t try to make your own alcohol, though; this is not Moonshiners! That stuff is so dangerous – you don’t want to be killing anyone this holiday, no matter how annoying they might be.

Pinned Image

DIY Porcelain Marker Quote Mug From lemonademakinmama.com via Pinterest

DIY Sharpie / Porcelain Marker Mug, Dish, Etc.

I love love LOVE this idea! It’s so simple, but you can absolutely customize it to the person you’re giving it to or you can customize all your own porcelain coffee cups too! I love the idea of putting quotes in cursive on cups. I’m actually doing this idea (or a variation of it) for a relative this year because it’s so cute and easy. All you do is draw on your cup with chosen porcelain marker(s) as you like and that’s it. There are also ideas out there for drawing on ceramic mugs with sharpies and then baking them to seal in the marker which look cool. Other ideas involve painting or marking up your own dishes and baking them or using porcelain markers, depending. They all look awesome!

Pinned Image

DIY Baked Goods From marthastewart.com via Pinterest

DIY Baked Goods Gift

This is such a fantastic gift to give, especially if you’re strapped for cash. It looks adorable and it won’t cost you very much at all. I love how this idea involves using tissue paper and waxed paper to make the cute packaging!

Pinned Image

DIY Food Gift Basket From centralbottle.com via Pinterest

DIY Gourmet Food Basket 

I love how easy and simple this idea is! It’s relatively cheap and these ideas for baskets can be themed and don’t exactly have to be food. I think food is a great idea for those who love gourmet or are foodies or chefs or something, but you could branch this out to those who like games, movies, books, or anything, really, so that it’s personal, but also fun and affordable.

Pinned Image

DIY Beauty Board Makeup Gift From laurathoughts81.blogspot.com via Pinterest

DIY Beauty / Makeup Board

I love this idea for a magnet board that allows your makeup to stick to it! How easy it would be for me to find things if my beauty products were organized like this! This is such a cute, fun gift idea for beauty addicts like myself, no?

Pinned Image

DIY Baby Gift Basket From ministrywives.com via Pinterest

DIY Baby Gift Basket / Flowers / Cupcakes

I think this idea is so cute! There are tons out there for baby gift ideas like this one. I actually will be doing one this year where you roll onesies up and put them into foils so they look like cupcakes. It’s so adorable! This one is also really nice as well and the finished result looks so great – like you’re all pro – but in reality it’s easy haha. I love gifts like this that make me look overly impressive without much effort. Just saying.

So, have you tried or are you planning on trying any cool DIY gift ideas this year?

If so, what are they?

Please share with me in the comments!